September 25, 2015 10:18 am
This blog post was originally written by Ruan Fourie.
An effective Influencer Marketing campaign is advantageous to both to the influencer and the brand. But Influencer Marketing as we know it now is relatively new, there are no rules set in stone to guide us. It’s important to understand how the relationship between marketer and influencer can be effectively maintained to help both parties.
Webfluential greatly simplifies the Influencer Marketing process with our intuitive tech platform that connects brands and the right influencers for a campaign. We have also managed a lot of campaigns and worked with a vast variety of influencers. Influencers that we are proud of. The Webfluential Influencer Marketing platform is a great tool to help you with your own campaign.
We decided to speak to two of our influencers and ask them for some tips on working with influencers. These tips have helped our account managers so much, that we have decided to share these tips with you too.
Sarah Bailey co-founded Uk-Bloggers.co.uk in 2013 as a place for bloggers to share, discuss and help one another. Since then UK-Bloggers have become more than just an information hub for bloggers, but now PRs and SEOs are also a part of the community. Here is what Sarah had to say about working with online influencers:
It’s always much nicer to receive an email from someone who has taken the time to look at your blog, than someone who is obviously just messaging as many people as possible. With Webfluential you can easily see all the influencers social channels and familiarise yourself with what type of content the influencer shares.
Know a bloggers worth
Blogs have long gone past the days of just being a personal online journal. Blogs have become a legitimate media channel, and just like other media channels getting your brand to the audience has a cost. Webfluential helps make sure that you are not paying more than you should be, but also makes sure that influencers get paid, and thus do a professional job.
Know local rules
Make sure you are up are up to date with local rules/laws around disclosure and make sure that your influencers are also aware of rules and guidelines around sponsored content and native advertising. This is not just for your own protection, but also to protect influencers from any penaties. Added bonus is that it’s always best to be open and honest about the brand-influencer relationship, so that the influencer’s audience does not feel like there is an attempt to mislead them.
Don’t expect us to work miracles
While many of us can write quickly, we often need more than an hours notice to pull something out of the bag. Give influencers a decent amount of time to respond, and then produce the content. Briefing influencers in a timely fashion will ensure that you get the best content for your Influencer Marketing campaign.
Build a relationship with the influencer
If you are looking to work with bloggers again, treat the relationship like you would any other professional or business relationship. Maintaining relationships with multiple influencers can be a very time consuming process. Webfluential has campaign managers that are experts at doing exactly that, with every influencer that forms part of your campaign.
Feel free to give us constructive criticism
Notice a typo, or a grammar error? Let the influencer know, we don’t mind. Also if you have any constructive criticism, send it our way. Influencers are always looking for ways to create better content. Constructive criticism is a great way to learn and improve. This will also help strengthen relationships for future Influencer Marketing campaigns the influecner could be involved in.
Brent Spilkin has spent the last 20 years becoming an authority in the digital marketing space. Brent is no stranger to online influence as he himself has used his online persona to flourish in the public arena and work with international brands in the media space. “Spillly” is not just an online influencer, he is also Brent Spilkin the Founder of the Growing Pains business consulting. Here are Brent’s tips for working with influencers:
Give influencers the creative freedom to drive your campaign goals
Conversations can’t be faked, so don’t force your influencer to use your copy or tone. Allow them to speak in their own voice only giving them guidelines on your message.
It’s not just about follower numbers
Reach is important but the number of followers an influencer has is only part of the reason you want to use them in your campaign. Check that each influencer also has a high level of engagement and that historically their engagement is positive. Webfluential’s platform can give you insight into the engagement that an influencer’s content gets.
Make influencer campaign goals clear from the start
Clearly define what you hope to achieve for your campaign with the influencer at the briefing stage. Knowing that you want general awareness, test-drives, likes or leads, greatly changes the way an influencer will interact with his followers and how the campaign messaging will come across.
Turn influencers into brand ambassadors
Reward and treat your influencers with respect and they will become loyal brand ambassadors to your business that will speak highly of you long after the campaigns they were involved with are completed.
Give influencers the opportunity to work together
Inform each influencer who the other influencers are on the same campaign. Actively engage with more than one influencer in conversations to allow more engagement around your brand and ultimately reaching the primary audience.
Start your successful Influencer Marketing campaign today
At Webfluential we work hard at creating and maintaining healthy working relationships with influencers, so that every Influencer Marketing campaign is successful. Sign up as a marketer now if you are planning on making Influencer Marketing part of your future marketing strategy.
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July 29, 2015 11:00 am
Editor’s note: We asked the popular Twitter thought leader, Spillly, to share his thoughts on building and nurturing a mutually beneficial relationship between brands and influencers. Read more of insights and opinion below.
Having received more than my fair share of branded disposable pens and matching lanyards over the years, I feel its my duty to inform brands and agencies to stop trying to buy my loyalty with cheap plastic gifts and branded promo-gear.
My loyalty should be curated, nurtured and rewarded.
Let’s be honest, you are looking to use me as another marketing channel and hoping that my mid level influence can help grow your brand or deliver your campaign objectives. It can, but only as long as I already believe in your purpose and buy into your marketing message and most importantly, love your product.
Influencer marketing is a very smart way of using a third parties voice to authentically portray your brand in a way that would only seems paid for and fake, if it were coming directly from the brand. Influencer marketing has been around before the dawn of social media, before the web and before traditional marketing was even dreamt up. Storekeepers would ask patrons to spread the word, and if the customer had a good experience, would do just that. Nothing has changed except the medium on which we spread the word.
I understand what you, the marketer, want to use me for and feel that I should be fairly rewarded for my part in your process. It is paid-for media and the reward should be cash.
My voice to my followers is far more powerful than any other medium you have in your vast arsenal of marketing channels. The consumer of today no longer believes your polished message and scripted values. The consumer of today wants to hear an honest message, one that is unique to the influencer but the truth no less. Consumers want someone that will answer the questions asked, with deep insight into the product and will kill for the brand if he is truly an ambassador.
Would you rather have a message being broadcast to thousands of people that don’t necessarily care or a conversation between an ambassador and a few real potential clients of the brand, who will most likely spend money with you? Influencers who believe in the brand will not only drive awareness but will drive an action that is valuable to the brand.
Involved affiliate marketing has proven to be hugely successful in industries like travel, fashion and restaurants. This is because people will trust the voice of a virtual stranger over the “your call is important to us” tone of taglines. Influencers have taken the time, often over years, to build credibility with their audience and have their own authentic voice and tone, which resonates with their own audience.
Influencer’s audiences are often incredibly niche. Understanding whom their audience is absolutely key to using an influencer to sell the right product to their niche audience. My personal online audience has evolved drastically from a comedic one to an entrepreneurial business base in the creative and tech industries. You can’t expect me to promote food brands or fashion, as my listeners know that this is not what I talk about and it won’t appear credible. I have taken years to have the right followers for my brand, my business and my messages, and if you want to gain access to this market and put my own credibility at risk, then you should pay for the privilege. If you are financially compensating someone then you also get the right to guide the conversation towards your own goals and expect certain clear deliverables to be executed by the influencer, in the influencers own unique tone and fashion. Giving the influencer the freedom to express your message in their incomparable voice will deliver the greatest results for your business.
You want your influencer to feel rewarded, acknowledged, loved, important, or any combination of those and ensure that they are partners in your communication strategy.
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July 23, 2018 1:04 pm
In many ways, the blue verification tick you see besides an influencer’s name is a sign of status. Only the most popular and influential Instagrammers will ever see it. In fact, it can be incredibly difficult to get verified on Instagram. Influencer Marketing Hub published an article highlighting 6 Instagram tips to help you get verified. You can view the original article here. We have summarised the article below.
Before it was symbolized status, the ‘verification’ symbol was primarily a symbol of authenticity, declaring that you are who you say you are. Verification symbols on most social media channels show people that the influencer or celebrity they are searching for are indeed authentic and not a tribute account or fake account. Instagram, however only verifies people who they deem are important enough for other people to create a tribute or fake accounts for. So, if there is no one trying to impersonate you there is no need for you to be verified.
Official Instagram statements
Instagram makes its views on verification clear in its help files. Instagram says that the verified badge means “that Instagram has confirmed that this is the authentic account for the public figure, celebrity or global brand it represents.”
Instagram also makes it clear that it is up to them to decide who qualifies as a public figure, celebrity or global brand. You cannot just apply to become verified.
Ultimately, Instagram sums up its policy with the following statement. “Currently, only Instagram accounts that have a high likelihood of being impersonated have verified badges.” If people can find your Instagram account easily enough, then Instagram is unlikely to verify you.
Although Instagram does not see the verification symbol as a status symbol, Instagrammers who have it display it with pride and those who don’t have it often feel that Instagram has denied them “authenticity power”.
What can you do to help yourself get verified on Instagram?
If you want that little tick beside your name then you need to turn yourself into a “public figure, celebrity or global brand”. In other words, you need to become a real influencer.
Hence you should first apply the suggestions here to another social network and build an influencer status there before you use them on Instagram. If you build up a following on Instagram too quickly, before you find fame elsewhere, you may never become verified.
1. Build your followers and engagement
Clearly, the key to being famous online is to become a true influencer. You want your audience to actually engage with your posts, rather than having irrelevant followers who just boost your numbers.
An essential requirement is to define your niche. Appealing to everyone is unlikely to increase engagement. An example of this is Zoe Sugg. She built her online reputation with her personal beauty and lifestyle blog- Zoella.
Having built her reputation on YouTube, Zoe was able to make a successful transition to other social networks, including Instagram.
Other people have opened similarly named Instagram accounts, so Instagram verified Zoe’s account to avoid confusion.
It is crucial that any engagement be meaningful. There is no point in making a series of “Nice picture”-type comments on peoples’ images/posts. Such meaningless comments do nothing to enhance your credibility as a thought leader.
2. Use popular Hashtags to help make yourself more visible
Both Instagram and Twitter suggest popular hashtags. There are also independent apps to assist with ideas, such as Hashtagify or TagBlender.
It is important that you only use hashtags that relevant to your niche. One common practice is to create a hashtag for your personal brand and to encourage your followers to use it regularly.
3. Cross promote your social media accounts
One way you can build your following on Instagram, or any other network is to promote all of your social network accounts.
By establishing popularity across a range of sites, you come across as being more of an internet celebrity, and more likely to be considered somebody worthy of Instagram verification.
4. Make your posts at the best times for your target social network
To encourage maximum engagement, you will want as many people as possible to see your posts. That means you should post at the times when most of your followers are checking their social media accounts.
CoSchedule has the following recommendations for the best time to post your Instagram images and videos to ensure ultimate engagement.
- Monday and Thursday at any time other than 3–4 p.m.
- Videos any day at 9 p.m.–8 a.m.
- Experiment with 2 a.m., 5 p.m., and Wednesday at 7 p.m.
5. Personalize your posts
You need to ensure that your account differs in some way from anyone else who might choose to use your name or something very similar. You need to add personality to your postings. If you merely post pictures of buildings or landscapes you are not adding value. Indeed you are not influential in any way. If you are a portraying yourself as a fashion influencer, there is little point in just posting pictures of clothing. You will do far better by posting a picture of people wearing the attire in attractive settings, or you modeling it.
6. Avoid Bad Social Practices
Instagram is skilled at spotting any attempts to game its system. You need to avoid taking any shortcuts as you attempt to build enough of a reputation as an influencer to gain the coveted verification tick.
If you use Instagram the way they want you to, and you build your reputation as an influencer somewhere else first, then the day may come when you open your account to find that Instagram has awarded you their verification tick.
It is hard to get verified on Instagram – but not impossible.
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